How To Sell More Beer With Science

It’s a question every brewery and beer bar would love to answer. How do you sell more beer? While some believe the answer is offering drink specials, special tappings, and other events, there’s a far simpler answer. You can sell more beer with science.

How To Sell More Beer

The secret to selling more beer isn’t a sales tactic, it’s psychological. A Cornell Food and Brand Lab study found that people order 16% more alcohol when their server is heavier. Not only did they drink more, but they were also four times more likely to order dessert.

The study, which was published in the journal Environment and Behavior, observed 497 diners ordering dinner in casual American restaurants (Applebee’s, TGI-Friday’s, etc). It measured each customer’s order and Body Mass Index (height and weight ratio) to the BMI of the person who waited on them. Heavier servers had an even bigger influence on the skinniest diners too.

We may not be aware of it, but a server that’s thin and more in shape than we are makes us more likely to question our dining decisions. We’re reminded that we shouldn’t overindulge if we want to stay or get in shape.

A heavier server on the other hand, gives us permission to let loose a bit more, if only in our own minds. We tell ourselves, “You can have a bit more. At least we’ll still be in better shape than they are.”

To take advantage of these findings, bars and breweries may be wise to stop screening servers in hopes of finding those with the fit look they’re hiring for (yes, discrimination of this type is generally illegal, but it certainly does happen). Having a serving staff of all sizes may help increase food and beer sales.

While bars and breweries won’t likely go to the extreme of pairing servers with customers they’re larger than, the pairings will happen by chance, and thus lead to increased beer sales.

Bigger Staff, Bigger Sales

So there you go. Harnessing the power of human psychology can help you sell more beer. Want your patrons to belly up to the bar for longer? Hire staff with a good sized belly.